PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang has denied that the cooperation between his party and Umno will threaten non-Malays, saying it will ensure Malays remain united despite their political differences.
“We need to unite the Malay parties – PAS, Umno and PPBM. PKR is not a Malay party, Amanah is not a Malay party,” Hadi told reporters in Kuala Terengganu yesterday.
He was responding to Lim Guan Eng’s statement yesterday that a PAS-Umno union amounted to a declaration of war on the non-Malays, a statement which the DAP secretary-general later amended.
Hadi said PAS would work with all Malay parties, adding that unlike other communities, the Malays were politically divided.
He said this was also why PAS would back Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
“Now Tun (Mahathir) is prime minister, so we need to defend him.”
Hadi also questioned those who claim that non-Malays are threatened by the union between PAS and Umno.
“Other races should instead appreciate the Muslims who accepted them as citizens and allowed them to practise their religion and use their language.”
He said the non-Muslims in Malaysia enjoy more rights compared to Indonesia and Thailand, where he said Chinese schools are not allowed. He added that they should be grateful but were only asking for more.
He said in Malaysia and Indonesia where Muslims are predominant, 80% of the economy is in the hands of the minorities.
“This can create tension,” he added.
He also denied a claim that he had paid Sarawak Report editor Clare Rewcastle-Brown RM1.4 million in their out-of-court settlement over his defamation suit.
“I did not pay, it is not correct,” he said.
Sarawak Report recently published a picture of a Bank Islam cheque for Rewcastle-Brown’s lawyer Americk Sidhu, amounting to RM1,422,980, after PAS denied a claim by Anwar Ibrahim that money was involved in the settlement.